100 days of learningPublished 11:36pm Wednesday, February 20, 2013
The end of their first 100 days is often a time for reflection for politicians in office, but it was a time for learning for Creekside Elementary third-graders.
Chelsea Lanford’s class of 21 students marked the occasion Wednesday by videoconferencing with another class at H.B. Wilson Elementary in Camden, N.J.
Creekside media specialist Kim Richardson hosted the activity, encouraging her students to come before the camera and tell the New Jersey kids something about a book they’d read.
These books were appropriately themed for the occasion. Titles included “100th Day Worries,” “Emily’s First 100 Days of School,” “Harry’s 100 days of Kindergarten,” and “Miss Bindergarten Celebrates The 100th Day.”
Typically, the Creekside kids held their books to the camera and stated the titles, following up with little exclamations like “Oolala” – a favorite of Richardson’s – “boo hoo”, “woo hoo,” and even a “cowabunga” from one boy.
On the other end of the screen, the New Jersey kids explained a poster they created about their home state.
They taught the Creekside kids, for instance, about the eastern goldfinch, the New Jersey state bird, and the state animal, the horse.
Creekside, in turn, informed their temporary cyber-classmates in New Jersey that Suffolk is famous for peanuts, holding up to the camera a jar of Planter’s.
“They’re really excited about it,” Lanford said. “Even for my kids that don’t like to read, this is an opportunity for them to enjoy themselves.
“We came and practiced a couple of times, and they really, really love it.”
Videoconferencing is becoming more common in Suffolk schools. Students at Mack Benn Jr. Elementary have linked more than once with NASA scientists, and Richardson has facilitated various links at Creekside, including to former first lady Barbara Bush.
On March 5, Creekside will participate in a Read Around The Planet videoconference, a global initiative in which students in different countries read together.
On the other side of the screen will be students at Springview Elementary School in Flushing, Mich.
For that event, as she has done before, Richardson will dress up as the Cat In The Hat — students have, of course, been reading Dr. Suess.
“Other people will dress up as Thing 1 and Thing 2,” Richardson said.